Sixth National Report
Section I. Information on the targets being pursued at the national level
Section II. Implementation measures, their effectiveness, and associated obstacles and scientific and technical needs to achieve national targets
Additional part of 6th National report is website with bio-indicators, case studies, elaborates and publications used for preparation of this report.
Stopping the trend of vulnerability and loss of biodiversity
Due to the effect of numerous negative anthropogenic factors, in recent period the trend of vulnerability and loss of biodiversity has been registered worldwide and in Serbia as well. Most important cause of this trend includes fragmentation and destruction of habitats, followed by various direct threats from invasive species and over-exploitation, deliberate killing, harming, disturbing and fatal incidents caused by traffic, infrastructure, pollution and other. Official administrative measures in the Republic of Serbia (RS) towards aimed at halting the trend of vulnerability and loss of biodiversity is the implementation of relevant conventions, especially the Convention on Biodiversity, as well as Bern, CMS, CITES and others, and within national system, through the Law on Nature Conservation and related laws and bylaws.
Most prominent aspect of the trend of vulnerability and loss of biodiversity is extinction of species, with most obvious examples from Republic of Serbia since middle 20th century, such as the European Mink Mustela lutreola, Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax, Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus, Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala and Nodding Sage Salvia nutans. Some plant species are lost not only for Serbia, but globally, since they were endemic. These species are Kragujevac Marshmallow (Althaea kragujevacensis), Vranje Marshmallow (Althaea vranjensis) and Morava Water Chestnut (Trapa annosa). Additionally, many species in RS have recently become increasingly rare and endangered, such as the Balkan Lynx Lynx martinoi, European Souslik Spermophilus citellus, Great Bustard Otis tarda, Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus, Meadow Viper Vipera ursinii, Black Salamander Salamandra atra, Beluga Sturgeon Huso huso, Tench Tinca tinca, Goldfish Carassius auratus, Pančić’s Grasshopper Pyrgomorphella serbica, Edelweiss Leontopodium alpinum, Banat Peony Paeonia officinalis subsp. banatica, Yarrow of King Alexander (Achillea alexandri-regis) with decreasing trend of population, area or ecological status. For these species, and other with similar status, measures are being taken to stop the trend of vulnerability and loss of biodiversity. These measures, although clearly orientated, certainly did not fully stop this negative process. Among most important measures is strict protection, according to the Regulation on proclamation and protection of strictly protected and protected wild species of plants, animals and fungi ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 5/10) with 1769 strictly protected and 853 protected species. Additionally, establishing protected areas is mainly oriented towards biodiversity conservation. Protected areas established with the main reason of conserving certain species, named after species, such as Strict Nature Reserve “Zeleničje” and Special Nature Reserve “Pastures of Great Bustard” are especially interesting cases. Officially, within the protected areas and in nature areas in general, all human activities are harmonised to minimise or exclude damage to biodiversity. In addition to these measures, some active conservation measures of habitats and species are also being taken.
Sebia has developed a system for monitoring of selected birds and butterfly species, and it has been in place for several years. There are data collected regarding the trend of changes in population abundance of selected butterfly and bird species from forest and meadow habitats. The change in the population of butterfly indicates certain loss, but also changes in the structure of their habitats, due to fragmentation and isolation, as well as other changes in the environment that directly or indirectly affect the change in population structure. This measure is monitored through the indicator which relates to the number of populations of selected butterfly species and population growth in the course of time, and by habitats. Changes of the most important types of habitats are presented according to CORINE Land Cover and EUNIS.
ENVIRONMENT QUALITY IN SERBIA
AIR QUALITY: The most prominent air pollutants include: sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, tropospheric ozone, suspended particles, persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals. Direct exposure to these pollutants may result in acute and chronic physiological disorders of organisms, irrespective on their taxonomic status. Besides the direct harmful effects, sulphur and nitrogen oxides indirectly degrade ecosystems by the acidification process, or process of forming strong mineral acids from precursors (sulphur and nitrogen oxides).
WATER QUALITY: Water enrichment and overloading with nitrate and phosphorus initiate the eutrophication process. Eutrophication is a result of synergistic effects of multiple factors. Inorganic phosphorus and nitrogen are the major limiting compounds for aquatic photoautotrophs (cyanobacteria, micro- and macroalgae, as well as angiosperms). High input of these compounds to waters may provoke rapid phytoplankton production. Algal blooms (overgrowth of algal populations) may disturb the structure and functions of aquatic ecosystems. Freshwater cyanobacteria produce several bioactive secondary metabolites with diverse chemical structure, which may achieve high concentrations in the water, when cyanobacterial blooms occur. Some of the compounds released by cyanobacteria have allelopathic properties, influencing the biological processes of other phytoplankton or aquatic plants. Allelopathy can influence the competition between different photoautotrophs for resources and change the structure of phytoplankton communities. Allelochemical compounds produced by dominant species eliminate weak competitors, reducing biodiversity of phytoplankton communities. Gross described allelopathic mechanisms of cyanotoxins. Excessive growth of Cyanobacteria (previously misclassified as blue-green algae or Cyanophyta) can produce cyanotoxins in such concentrations that they are poisonous to fish, cattle, and humans. When dead phytoplankton sink to the bottom, their decomposition may reduce the oxygen concentration in the water to levels too low to support fish and benthic invertebrates. Enhanced biological production and other associated effects of eutrophication usually occur in lakes, reservoirs, coastal areas, and large, slowly flowing rivers.
SOIL QUALITY: The great heterogeneity of the geological base in Serbia, its climate, vegetation and pedo-fauna contributed to the formation of extremely heterogenic soils in Serbia. There are nine edaphic climatic regions on Serbian territory. In each of the regions, several soil types are represented and their combinations reflect the general characteristics of these units.
According to Serbian soil map the most extensive groups are Cambisols (27.99 %), Chernozems (17.68 %), Leptosols (15.9 %) and Vertisols (8.32 %).
Agricultural areas dominate in Serbia and spread over 55 % of the country’s total area, while about 27 % is occupied by arable land, 12 % by complex cultivation and 12 % by principally agricultural land with areas of natural vegetation. The share of agricultural and arable land in the total area of the Republic of Serbia is primarily the consequence of geomorphological and pedogenetic factors. Not only have these factors influenced the total areas under the mentioned land uses, but thay have also affected their distribution within the country. The largest areas subject to the above land uses are in the northern part of the country, the Autonomous Province (AP) of Vojvodina, as well as in the valleys of the large rivers in Central Serbia. The share of agricultural land in the total area of AP Vojvodina is significantly higher, at the level of 71.3 %, while the arable land achieves the level of 65.8 %. The average rate of soil organic carbon in the top 30 cm of the agricultural soils is 1.98 %, which can be considered as low.
The occurrence and progress of soil erosion is one of the major soil degradation processes and a cause of deteriorated soil quality. It is estimated that soil erosion (of various degrees) affects about 80 % of agricultural soil. In the central and hilly-mountainous regions water erosion is predominant, while in Vojvodina, in the north of Serbia, Eolic erosion prevails, affecting approximately 85 % of the agricultural soil with annual loss of over 0.9 ton of soil per hectare. A number of measures have been defined in agriculture-related laws aiming at the protection of agricultural land against the harmful effects of erosion.
Soil quality in the Republic of Serbia is also affected by uncontrolled and inadequate dumping of waste and by contamination stemming from industrial complexes. The largest number of registered sources of local soil pollution is related to municipal waste disposal and industrial and commercial activities. Risk from chemical pollution of soil in urban areas was monitored on 170 sites (2015) and 240 samples were analysed in the territory of eight towns. The highest percentage of exceeded limit values was recorded for Cd, Cu, Zn, Ni and Co in the sites of frequent traffic, in the vicinity of business commercial zones and on agricultural land (Vidojević et al., 2017).
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES
The first preliminary national list of invasive plant species for the territory of the Republic of Serbia date from 2012, while a list of invasive species of plants and animals on the territory of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina already existed at the time. The first mentioned above for the territory of Serbia was printed under the paper "Preliminary List of Invasive Species in the Republic of Serbia with General Measures of Control and Suppression in Support of Future Legislative Acts". In 2018, a comparative Table of invasive plant species of the Republic of Serbia and countries in the region was prepared, but general problem faced was that criteria for proposing invasive species differed among Western Balkans countries. The results were published under the internship research paper (2018) "Revision of the preliminary national list of invasive plant species with proposed measures on control and suppression." Considering that certain species is deemed invasive on the territory of a country if listed on the "official" list of invasive species of that country, a total of 165 species of invasive plants have been recorded for the Republic of Serbia and eight countries in the Western Balkans region.
According to the latest inventory of invasive species of plants and animals for the Republic of Serbia, compiled in 2016 under the ESENIAS (regional portal for information on invasive alien species in the countries of eastern and south-eastern Europe - http://www.esenias.org), there are 346 invasive species in total on the territory of our country. In addition to invasive species of plants listed therein there are 11 other invasive species in Serbia (Amaranthus blitum L., Bromus catharticus Vahl, Catalpa bignonioides Walter, Centaurea biebersteinii DC, Helianthus annuus L., Helianthus scaberrimus Elliott, Impatiens balsamina L., Oenothera villosa Thunb, Portulaca grandiflora Hooker, Symphyotrichum novae-angliea (L.) GL Nesom and Tragopogon porrifolius L. subsp. australis (Jordan) Nr. -Bl.), which should also be taken into consideration when drafting the national inventory of invasive species and determining their status.
BIODIVERSITY AND HUMAN HEALTH
Health is often considered as a basic human right, and is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as not simply being free from illness, but in a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Biodiversity can be considered as the foundation for human health as it underpins the functioning of the ecosystems on which we depend for our food and fresh water; aids in regulating climate, floods and disease; provides recreational benefits and offers aesthetic and spiritual enrichment. Biodiversity also contributes to local livelihoods, to both traditional and modern medicines and to economic development.
All human health ultimately depends on ecosystem services that are made possible by biodiversity and the products derived there from. While the inter-linkages between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human health are inherently complex, inter-disciplinary research is aiming to develop a more thorough understanding of these essential relationships
BIODIVERSITY CHANGES AT SPECIES LEVEL
According to official data 44,200 taxa have been identified and classified in Serbia at the level of species and subspecies, which is not the final figure. According to real estimates, there are probably 60,000 taxa living in Serbia. The largest groups of organisms are insects with over 35,000 recorded species.
Although with 88,361 km2 the Republic of Serbia makes only 2.1 % of Europe's land, biological diversity of different groups of living organisms is high. In Serbia there are:
- 3662 species and subspecies of vascular flora (39 % of Europe's vascular flora),
- 98 species of lampreys and fish (51 % fish fauna of Europe),
- 45 species of amphibians and reptiles (49 % of fauna of amphibians and reptiles of Europe),
- 360 species of birds (74 % of bird fauna in Europe),
- 94 species of mammals (67 % of European mammals).
Of particular importance for the evaluation of the species diversity of Serbia is the high percentage of endemism and relics that are particularly widespread in mountain and highland areas, in cliffs and canyons. The highest level of endemism in Serbia was established among insects and vascular plants.
The monitoring of population dynamics was focused on species important for ecosystem functioning (top predators, pollinators and decomposers). Top predators control stability of ecosystems by regulating number of individuals at different trophic levels.
Animals pollinate 87 % of the world’s flowering plant species. Many scientists are concerned that pollinators are in decline globally. Bees, flies (order Diptera), butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) are the most important pollinators among animals. Therefore, monitoring of pollinator species is essential in assessing function of ecosystems. Fungi are major decomposers in certain ecosystems and therefor they represent key components of ecosystems controling the process of matter cycling.
BIODIVERSITY CHANGES AT HABITATS LEVEL
Analysis of the change of intended land use in 2006-2018 period shows that most changes occurred under
artificial surface category (34 605 ha increase). Agricultural land in the observed period reduced by 86 492 ha. Surfaces under the
category of forests and semi-natural areas increased by 220 485 ha, humid regions – classified under inland wetlands – increased by 8
487 ha, while areas under water basins increased by 17 542 ha, mostly as a result of construction of artificial.. Approximately 11 872
km2 of agricultural land in Serbia is High Nature Value. This is equivalent to approximately 19 % of the total agricultural area, and 13
% of the total territory of Serbia. The percentage of organic production area compared to the used agricultural area in 2018 is 0.2 %.
Based on SPOT5 satellite images with a resolution of 10 m, epoch 2010/2011, the area under the forest is 31 956 km2, which represents about 36 % of the territory of Serbia. The area of deciduous forests is 29 442 km2, the area of coniferous forests is 1 965 km2, and the
area of mixed forests is 549 km2. According to CORINE Land Cover for 2018, the area under forest in Central Serbia and Vojvodina is
2 380 917 ha, which represents 30 % of the territory, while according to SPOT5 satellite images the area is 2 654 000 ha, which is about
35 % territories. In the period from 1953-2012, there was an increase in the area under the forest for over a million hectares, an increase
of 75 % compared to 1953. The forest supply has the highest amount of sprout forests (64.7 %), followed by compositions of high origin
(27.5 %) and artificially grown compositions (7.8 %). The areas are covered with beech forests (29.4 %), Austrian oak (15.3 %) birch
forests, aspen and black locust (9.9 %), Sessile oak forests (7.7 %), Hungarian oak forests (7.1 %) pine forests (5.6 %), European
hornbeam forests (5.3 %), spruce forests (3.8 %). In the autochthonous forest genetic resources, endemic and relic taxons - Balkan pine
(Pinus peuce), Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii), Serbian spruce (Picea omorika), European yew (Taxus baccata), Balkan maple tree
(Acer heldreichii), etc. are the most valuable. According to the National Inventory of Forests in the Republic of Serbia, there are 49 tree
species, the boreal ones being more numerous (40) than conifer species (9). The inventory conducted in 19th and 20th century reported
68 tree species. Almost 50 % are forests consisted of 2-3 tree species, there are 44 % of forests with 4-5 tree species, while forests with
only one tree species cover only 7 %.
Based on comprehensive indicators and case studies analyses.
Based on comprehensive indicators and case studies analyses.
- Habitats of many known endangered species in RS are still not included in protected areas,
- Insufficient field conservation measures,
- Lack of field data and knowledge on species occurrence,
- Administratively and practically improperly implemented procedures issued to harmonize and minimize human impact on biodiversity.
Preservation of biological diversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem level
Within active conservation measures, according to their extent and duration, most important ones include revitalisation of wetlands in the protected area “Obedska bara” and steppe grasslands in the National park “Fruška gora”, while this kind of measures are implemented in most of the protected areas in Vojvodina, as well as in some protected areas in Central Serbia, such as Protected Landscape “Veliko ratno ostrvo”. Active conservation measures for species in situ are feeding places (Brown Bear Ursus arctos, Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus, Eagles Accipitriformes), posture of artificial nests (Saker Falcon Falco cherrug, European Roller Coracias garrulus, Owls Strigiformes, Eagles Accipitriformes...), reintroduction (European Beaver Castor fiber, Red Deer Cervus elaphus, Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra), trans-locations (Amphibians Amphibia), nest-guarding (Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca), bush-clearing (Banat Peony Paeonia officinalis subsp. banatica), water supplying (Maidenhair Fern Adiantum capillus-veneris) and others. Besides these in situ measures, additional measures are implemented as well, such as care for injured individuals, stopping illegal activities, awareness raising and others.
Analysing genetic variability of populations of certain species in Serbia, enables determination of level of their genetic diversity, which can be used for conservation goals. Therefore, level of genetic variability is known for some species under exploitation regime, e.g. Nose-horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes), Edible Frog (Rana synklepton esculenta), or game species such as Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) etc. Research of genetical variability is conducted for some fish species, Brown Trout (Salmo trutta), Grayling (Thymallus thymallus), Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus), and some Barbus species.
Genetic resources, directly or indirectly used by humans, are key component of agro-biodiversity of Serbia Agrobiodiversity encompasses species and habitats of cultivated fungi, plants and animals, as well as species and ecosystems important for food production (agro-ecosystems, pastures, meadows, forests, water ecosystems). Besides that, genetic resources are important for sustainable development of rural areas of Serbia, although role of local communities in this process is still not proper.
Based on the data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, significant presence of more than 44 autochthonic and exotic races of domestic animals has been noted in Serbia (7 races of horse, 1 race of donkey, 8 races of cows, 3 races of goats, 5 races of sheep, 18 races of pigs and several races of poultry). Between 400 and 500 agricultural husbandries and associations own endangered species. The FAO information system for domestic animals diversity (DAD-IS) contains information about the presence of more than 100 races and sorts of domestic animals on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.
The following autochthonous races of domestic animals in Serbia have been maintained: podolac cow; busha; domestic ox; domestic mountain horse; nonius, domestic Balkan donkey, mangulica, moravka, resavka, pramenka (svrljiška, sjenička, pirotska, karakačanski, krivovirski, bardoka, baljuša, vlaška vitoroga, lipska) sheep, cigaya (čokanski type), domestic Balkan goat, domestic chicken (Sombor kaporka, naked-neck chicken, Svrljig chicken, Eastern-Serbian chicken), domestic turkey, domestic guineafowl, domestic goose (status of Sombor goose, Novi Pazar goose and Podunavska goose is unknown), domestic duck. Autochthonous sort of bee, Apis melifera carnica, is also important with its varieties, which is one of most valuable sorts of honeybees in the world, according to its characteristics. Dogs that are used for protection of herds (Serbian shepherd dogs) or those used as working dogs for herd management (pulini) should be included into autochthonic animal races of Serbia.
Ex situ and in situ activities are applied with the aim to conserve these races and sorts, whereat basic emphasis is put to the so-called on farm conservation that includes active role of agricultural husbandries.
Other genetic resources
In addition to cultivated plant types, overall agro-biodiversity of Serbia also includes wild plant species that represent important components of food production and agriculture (forage crops, medical and aromatic herbs, decorative plants, honey plants, wild fruit). Various agro-ecosystems (arable farms, orchards, vineyards, meadows, pastures, brink and ruderal habitats) and components thereof, including weed flora and vegetation also contribute to overall agro-biodiversity of Serbia.
The diversity of species dwelling in natural fields (meadows and pastures) has not been well studied or estimated, but number of species within the described 273 plant associations has been estimated at more than 1 000. Total number of medical and aromatic plant species in our flora is about 700, out of which 420 have been officially registered. Out of the number, 280 are traded as commodities. Honey plants are primarily found in meadow, forest and agro-ecosystems, and their number in our country has been estimated at approximately 1 800. In most general sense, flora agro-biodiversity includes weed and ruderal plants as agro-ecosystem components. The studies conducted to date on weed flora diversity in Serbia reveal that the number of weed species represents 28 % of the total flora (more than 1,000 species).
Areas under forests in Serbia include combination of deciduous forest (beech and oak), in the percentage of about 60.7 %, conifer forests, in the percentage of 4.7 %, and mixed deciduous-conifer forests, covering 33 % of the area. With regard to autochthonic forest genetic resources, greatest value is seen in endemic and endemo-relict species (Pinus peuce, P. heldreichii, Pinus nigra ssp. gocensis, Picea omorika, Taxus baccata, Prunus laurocerasus, Acer heldreichii, Fraxinus pallisae, Forsythia europaea, Corylus colurna, Daphne blagayana, D. mesereum and others). Within forest genetic resources, in addition to natural rarities, great importance is given to wild fruit species. Eighty-eight species of wild fruit have been identified within the natural forest associations of Serbia, 12 of which are endangered species.
Among genetic resources of medical and aromatic herbs, greatest importance is given to genetic diversity of commercially important species (chamomile, mint, sage, hypericum, yarrow, oregano, bearberry, valerian, plantain, primula, etc.), as well as to sorts of limited areals and to those that are for some reason endangered. Looking at the genetic resources of medical and aromatic herbs and the need for their conservation, coordinated monitoring activity, which would look into the status of their populations, has not been implemented for a long time, while general conservation strategy at national and international levels have not been developed yet. This is one of the main reasons for the recommendation related to establishment of the Working Group for Medical and Aromatic Herbs (1999).
Wild relatives are of particular importance as genetic resource in improving and selecting cultivated plants, especially at the level of resistance to various abiotic and biotic stressful external factors. More than a half of cultivated plants have direct relatives within forest and herbaceous plant associations. As far as it is known, there have been no attempts to develop inventory and perform characterisation of these genetic resources in our country, except for wild relatives of fruit species.
Number and list of species and taxa of higher and lower ranges of fish in the rivers and lakes are monitored and vulnerability and protection of biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems have been described. The impact of allochthonous and invasive species to the autochthonous species has also been registered.
According to the National Inventory of Forests in the Republic of Serbia, 49 tree species have been registered, the boreal ones being more numerous (40) than conifer species (9). The inventory conducted in 19th and 20th century reported 68 tree species. The most common species is beech tree, with 20.6 % of the total number of tree trunks. The picture shows number of forest species and shows trend of population of those species in forest ecosystems (such as birds and butterflies).
Methodology for all forest related issues are in line with the Forest Inventory and Forest Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Based on the data contained in the Draft Programme of Rural Development (2008-2013), significant presence of more than 44 autochthonic and exotic races of domestic animals has been noted in Serbia (7 races of horse, 1 race of donkey, 8 races of cows, 3 races of goats, 5 races of sheep, 18 races of pigs and several races of poultry). Between 400 and 500 of agricultural husbandries and associations own endangered species. The FAO information system for domestic animals diversity (DAD-IS) contains information about the presence of more than 100 races and sorts of domestic animals on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.
Ex situ and in situ activities are applied with an aim to conserve these races and sorts, whereat basic emphasis is put to the so-called on farm conservation that includes active role of agricultural husbandries.
In-situ and ex-situ conservation measures are applied for the protection of cultivated plant varieties. In-situ protection measures primarily include protection of indigenous and old varieties on their natural habitats through the so-called farm protection. Measures of ex-situ conservation mainly include conservation of varieties outside their natural habitats, in the banks of plant genes and national collections at various scientific institutions (Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops in Novi Sad, Kruševac Fodder Institute, Institute of True Grasses in Kragujevac, Institute for Vegetables in Smederevska Palanka, Potato Centre in Guča, Faculty of Agriculture, Universities of Novi Sad and Belgrade. National collection of plant genes is located in the Institute of Maize in Zemun Polje and in the bank of the Plant Genes in Batajnica.)
Based on comprehensive indicators and case studies analyses.
Based on comprehensive indicators and case studies analyses.
Forest genetic resources
· Active field conservation measures for both habitats and species are financially and technically demanding
· Lack of staff experienced to fulfill these measure
· There are administrative complications in implementing of active measures related to land use, e.g. on private land or on agricultural/forestry land
· Sectors policies are not in line with biodiversity conservation goals
· Need for additional researches regarding genetic structures, in first priority for most endangered species
Plant Gene Bank
· Lack of financial resources for the basic Gene Bank activities
· Lack of scientific research staff in the Plant Gene Bank
· Need for technical and scientific cooperation in the implementation of Gene Bank Standards and operations
· Need for PGRFA Policy formulation and implementation
· Need for support to in situ and on farm PGRFA conservation in rural areas, with bigger role of local communities in management and conservation of agro-biodiversity.
Monitoring the impact of climate change on biodiversity and the impact of biodiversity on mitigating the effects of climate change
Although Serbia did not have the obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) between 2008 and 2012, it was necessary to prepare national and periodic reports to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in order to allow international cooperation in the field of climate change and systemic observation, as well as to enable transfer of knowledge and clean technologies. In addition, Serbia had to formulate and implement measures of mitigation, education, training and public information in order to increase availability of information on the causes and consequences of climate change. During 2010, based on the UNFCCC requirements, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Serbia prepared the First National Communication (First Report), which contains information on the national context, database and emission calculations GHG (1990-1998), under the UNFCCC (2010), assessment of the vulnerability and impact of climate change, as well as necessary measures for adaptation and mitigation. It was developed in accordance with the "Guidelines for the Preparation of National Reports for parties not included in the Annex I Convention" (17 / SR.8), by the procedures of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), national regulations, documents and strategies. Taking into account the political, technological, financial and social aspect of the problem, this document also defines specific climate change scenarios (for the periods 2001-2030, 2071-2100), while the assessment of mitigation is related to several sectors - energy, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste management. The First National Communication also provided data on research and systemic observations, but also provided recommendations and instructions for future education, training, capacity building and public awareness of global warming and GHG emissions.
The Republic of Serbia initiated the preparation of institutional and legislative structure for the monitoring, reporting and verification of data and information of importance for climate change, with the financial and technical support of the EU. Preparation of the first national strategy for the fight against climate change, with the action plan, is in the initial phase and will provide a clear framework of activities in the fight against climate change in the period until 2020 and 2030.
This measure is implemented through certain projects, mainly through work on species with sensitive seasonal phases, such as migrating birds, early spring plants - Winter Aconite Erantis hyemalis) and others. Moreover, this monitoring is conducted on some sensitive habitats, such as Salt Lake in Special Nature Reserve “Slano kopovo”. Effects of fires, floods, wind-breaks and drought are monitored within forest ecosystems. In spring 2014, when extremely big floods occurred in Serbia, brief survey on its effects on protected areas and protected species was conducted.
Based on comprehensive indicators and case studies analyses.
Based on comprehensive indicators and case studies analyses.
- Lack of system for monitoring impact of climate changes on biodiversity,
- Lack of legal base for establishing of the monitoring system,
- Insufficient and irregular financing,
- Un-harmonized goals of scientific and nature conservation sectors,
- Lack of trained staff,
- Lack of appropriate methodologies.
Establishment of an integral national information system for biodiversity with a database (INISB)
This measure is directly connected to research, data collection and monitoring of biodiversity in Serbia, done by various subjects such as scientific institutions (institutes, faculties...), institutes for nature conservation, Natural History Museum, managers of protected areas, NGOs, even some private companies. First steps towards establishment of INISB are reflected through two projects "Development of the Red Book of Plants, Animals and Fungi in the Republic of Serbia" (2015-2017), “Establishment of an ecological network in the Republic of Serbia” (2015-2020) financed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and coordinated by the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia in collaboration with Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina and Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade. Besides that, there is very good database on biodiversity in Serbia – BIORAS – lead by civil sector. Another very important initiative for integration in this topic is led by German Development Agency, GIZ, within BIMR project (Biodiversity Information Management and Reporting) in cooperation with Serbian partners and other relevant partners from South East Europe for wider region.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) is responsible for administration and policy development tasks in the field of environment including biodiversity and nature conservation. In close cooperation with the MEP there is a public administration authority, the Serbian Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), responsible for integrating data on environment and preparing reports on the state of environment in Serbia. Expert activities related to nature conservation and protected areas in Serbia are carried out by the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia and the Institute of Nature Conservation of Vojvodina for the territory of Vojvodina.
The most important operational state institutions in the BIMR framework are SEPA, Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia and Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina. A significant number of teams and individual scientists operate at the Universities of Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Niš and their cooperation in the Centre for Biodiversity Informatics can be a good starting point for centralisation of providing scientifically verified biodiversity data in Serbia. The BioRaS portal, managed by a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and technically supported by Petnica Research Centre, proved to be a robust platform for integrating civil society initiatives in biodiversity assessments and involving general public in inventorying and monitoring of biodiversity in Serbia. Based on the review of their legal responsibilities, recent activities and results, we enlisted stakeholders who are related to biodiversity, nature conservation or use of natural resources.
Institution/ organisations number
Governmental institutions 6, Public institutions 12, Public enterprises 12, Academic institutions 18, NGOs 24, International organisations 3, Religious institution 1 and Companies 14.
Data used in the studies of protection, collected by experts from the Institutes for Nature Conservation in Belgrade and Novi Sad;
· Data of monitoring of target species, collected by experts from the Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina and Managers of protected areas;
· Data used for preparation of action plans for protection of large carnivores, collected and processed by experts from the Faculty of Biology in Belgrade, Institute for Biological Research in Belgrade and Museum of Natural History in Belgrade;
· Data provided by projects "Establishment of an ecological network in the Republic of Serbia" and "Development of the Red Book of Plants, Animals and Fungi in the Republic of Serbia”, compiled and verified by experts from Faculty of Biology in Belgrade, Department for Biology and Ecology in Novi Sad and Birds Protection and Study Society from Novi Sad;
Data of rapid ecological assessment of Serbian natural assets, collected by academic institutions and NGOs and provided to managers of PAs;
· Data collected by experts from Universities in Novi Sad, Belgrade, Kragujevac and Niš and Institute for Biological Research, in the framework of scientific projects supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development;
· Data used for fish stock management programmes, compiled by experts from the Faculty of Biology in Belgrade, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research in Belgrade, Institute of Biology and Ecology in Kragujevac and Department for Biology and Ecology in Novi Sad;
Data collected by support of local projects from the Rufford Small Projects Grants Scheme (or similar funders);
- Data collected by support of local/regional/national environmental authorities;
- Data used in EIA/SEA studies;
- Data published on the BioRaS portal;
- Data published in the Alciphron database;
- IPA project Natura 2000 Serbia / The project ceased operations due to administrative Reasons
The most numerous stakeholders are from the NGO and academic community also recognised as most important stakeholders for collecting and structuring biodiversity data. Although most academic institutions are located in Belgrade, there are significant scientific bases in Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Niš. With more than 20 relevant organisations the NGO community seems strong with numerous volunteer base. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Most of the organisations that collect and process biodiversity data are with only a few members initiated by graduates of biology who have no other job opportunity. Only a few organisations work at the national level (Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia, NGO Habiprot and Scientific research student association "Josif Pančić") and recruit a significant number of members to collect biodiversity data in the field. Others include local organisations with several volunteers that frequently work in close cooperation with local protected area managers.